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South Africa’s PIC raises stake in MTN to 23.6%

 In news

South African State-owned pension fund, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has raised its stake in mobile phone operator MTN Group to nearly 24%, regulatory filings showed on Wednesday, a bet on the company in the middle of $10.1-billion dispute with Nigeria.

The PIC, which has more than R2-trillion of South African government civil servants’ pensions under its custody, had a stake of around 15% in the company before the transaction.

The purchase price was not disclosed but shares in MTN have been battered since it disclosed two separate disputes with Nigerian authorities.

Nigeria’s central bank on August 29 ordered MTN and its lenders to bring $8.1-billion back into Nigeria that it alleges the company sent abroad in breach of foreign exchange regulations. In addition, MTN faces a separate $2-billion tax bill from authorities in Nigeria.

The stock had fallen around 20% since then. By 1220 GMT the shares were trading slightly higher at R88.32. Source: Engineering News 

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